Today we’d like to introduce you to Dominique Battle.
Hi Dominique, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Being a therapist has always been a dream for me. I’ve always loved helping people and helping them find different ways to navigate their lives in a much healthier way. Having a family member who has been diagnosed with a mental illness made me intimately curious about mental health and understanding mental illness. Honestly, because it was the only goal I wanted to achieve, I’m not really sure what I would have done had it not worked out. There were certainly some stumbling blocks along the way that made me question if this was my path. Hurdles such as having a child in my sophomore year of undergrad, getting married and divorced, becoming a single mother, and other things, all before starting graduate school, I began to believe that it was almost an impossible task. Knowing that to become a therapist required graduate school, it started to seem beyond my grasp because of circumstances happening in my life. Giving birth to my son, however, provided a boost of motivation to continue to pursue my dreams. It wasn’t until I was finishing up the graduate school that I began thinking about owning a private practice.
Initially, I planned to go the traditional route of working in agencies and organizations because being a business owner as a single mother seemed overwhelming. However, once I sat down and really thought about the kind of future I wanted for my child and me, I knew that it was a challenge I was willing to undertake. I rented office space before finishing graduate school, engaged in professional conferences and events and networked excessively to stay focused on those goals. Before I knew it, I was a business owner in a thriving practice, and I am still surprised, humbled, and grateful for the experiences I’ve had. They have all resulted in the life I am able to live today. What started as an impossible dream and an unexpected detour to my initial goal of just being a therapist, I now have two private practices, one here in Winter Park and one in Tampa, as well as a virtual consulting and coaching business, products, and digital courses that I provide to a wide range of individuals in many different phases of life.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. I became pregnant in high school before graduation. I gave birth to my child, who lived for 24 hours and then passed away. I didn’t think I would make it through that tragedy. Fast forward, I gave birth to my son my sophomore year of college, who was born at 27 weeks and weighed 3 lbs 2.7 oz. He stayed in the NICU for two months, stopped breathing several times, and was initially projected to not survive the hospital and, if he did, would have developmental issues. My son is now 15 years old and has had no issues and excels in school. I married my son’s father during college and was divorced two years later and became a single mother when my son was three years old. As you can imagine, graduating from college was a huge accomplishment after going through so many obstacles. Graduate school brought more obstacles that threatened my ability to graduate, prolonged graduation, and create issues that almost made me want to quit. The great thing about going through so many challenges is the resilience that is built within that assures you that you can get through anything because you’ve already gone through so much and made it.
As you know, we’re big fans of CreativeCounseling Living & Wellness, LLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
CreativeCounseling Living & Wellness, LLC is a private-pay mental health therapy practice operating in Winter Park, Florida. As a mental health therapist, I specialize in working with individuals struggling with trauma, life transition issues, and marital/couples issues. What sets me apart from others is my ability to connect and relate to my clients in a way that strengthens the therapeutic relationship and, as a result, improves successful client outcomes. The therapeutic relationship is the most important aspect of therapy and can make, or break, the therapeutic experience. I strive to create a non-judgmental, safe, and comfortable space for my clients to share, process, and work through some of the most damaging, intimate, and vulnerable aspects of their lives and I take that very seriously.
As far as my brand, I am most proud of my reach. I have to admit that my marketing efforts are lacking due to time constraints, but it has not hurt my brand or my business. The clients who resonate with me and the services I offer find me, either through my story, my services, or word of mouth. I offer a calm and relaxed atmosphere where my clients trust that their stories, their trauma, and their pain are not only safe but is the priority of our time together. The one thing they hear me say all the time is that “We’re gonna work. You’re going to be comfortable, you’re going to feel like you’re sitting on your own couch, but you’re going to be working.” I also offer self-care products as well as digital courses that can help the clients who are not sure yet if they’re ready for therapy or coaching but know they need additional resources to guide them through various issues in their lives.
How do you define success?
Success to me, is realizing that I am at peace, in the midst of whatever chaos may be going on around me. When I arrive at that place, obstacles in my business, failures, disappointments, setbacks, etc. will matter, but they won’t affect me in a way that paralyzes me. I still struggle with imposter syndrome like most business owners. I struggle with the fear of failure and trying to over-plan and strategize to avoid setbacks. However, I also realize that failure is a part of the success and so it is inevitable that something will fail so that something else can come together. Success is knowing this, experiencing this, and not being so shaken that I start to doubt or underestimate myself and what I’ve been able to accomplish and maintain.